About This Model
Sheaffer phased out its Balance during the years after the end of WWII. It had been a great, long, ride since 1929, but America demanded new technology in everything and Balances, whether lever-fillers or vacuum-fillers, were no longer sexy, no matter how well they worked. So, from 1946-48, while Balance inventory was sold off, Sheaffer developed its new technology, the Touchdown pneumatic filler. It is a simple, effective mechanism: extending the Touchdown tube brings air into the sac, compressing it pushes the air out, allowing ink to fill the sac. Although it was an emulation of a 1920s Chilton mechanism, the Touchdown filler was both an improvement and inexpensive to produce. The Touchdown appeared in 1949, with the “Fat Pen”, and its TM (Thin Model), which appeared in 1950 in a range of models and features. The “Fat Pen” only lasted one year, but the TM sold well, to be discontinued just two years later with the introduction of the Snorkel and Tip-Dip, which also both used the Touchdown mechanism. The mechanism lived on, through the 1960s, in PFMs, Dolphins and Imperials, a hugely successful next act from Sheaffer.
About This Pen
This is a very nice Touchdown Craftsman, in green. It is in very clean condition, missing most of the wear one normally sees in these pens, a manifestation of their ability to absorb heavy use. The barrel and cap are very clean and shiny, although there is a bit of cap shrinkage, which explains its tight fit over the section. The imprint is complete. The trim is all shiny gold, and the thin cap ring denoting the pen as a Craftsman is tight. The nib is a proper 33, fine firm. This is a pen that can take a lot of use without worry.